Paris Hilton Empowers Women With Her #ThisIsWhoIAm Movement: How to Get Involved
International icon and multi-hyphenate Paris Hilton has held many different labels on a world stage through the years. From wealthy heiress to vivacious party girl to the original influencer, Hilton has been the headline of many iconic moments in pop culture. However, since the outset of her twenty-year career in the limelight, Hilton has not always been able to be the author of her own narrative.
Now, she’s sharing her story on Times Square’s massive TSX Screen, and she’s inviting others to do the same on March 22 as part of her empowering #THISISWHOIAM movement.
Changing the Narrative
Being at the mercy of the ruthless early 2000s tabloids and the grating exposure of social media buzz, Hilton was thrust into celebrity life while battling extreme trauma she vowed to never share until recently in her harrowing Youtube Originals documentary, This Is Paris.
Now, she is determined to use her platform and entrepreneurial spirit to spearhead projects and policy changes that will have a tangible impact on peoples’ lives. With her newfound voice and remarkable bravery coupled with her international acclaim, Hilton is making it her mission to lift others as she climbs and to open space for people to find and raise their own voices.
Making a Difference
Anyone abreast of popular culture can attest to Hilton’s conquering many goals and wearing many different hats. Her countless business exploits and culturally-relevant artistic productions have laid the stage for some of her latest ventures: advocacy and activism.
Her impact work is devoted to illuminating the stories of women and the youth surviving through the ‘Troubled Teen Industry’ and empowering the next generation of creators and changemakers.
Hilton’s latest installment in her two decade long portfolio comes in the form of a deeply personal memoir. Paris: The Memoir is Hilton’s way of reclaiming her voice and revealing all of who she really is after decades of the harsh nature of fame and debilitating scrutiny.
A Different Point of View
From corporate America to the entertainment industry, women, in particular, do not always have the space to speak their minds and tell their own stories. Predominantly, men have been the arbiters of virtually every industry, leaving women marginalized with no outlets or recourse. A great deal of our culture, history and present-day alike, has been steeped in antiquated notions that women should be relegated to small boxes and stifled voices.
Women and young girls have been conditioned to believe if they ever have any negative press associated with them, they should not be allowed to control their own narrative or evolve beyond their lowest moments; their fate will be decided for them, based on archaic standards that do not allow certain identities to experience full autonomy over their personhood. They are perpetually pigeonholed into showing up one way without any room for nuance or growth.
Women are often haunted by double standards that force their very human experiences into a place of judgment claiming their behavior is “unbecoming of a young lady” whereas their male counterparts are given insurmountable license to sow their wild oats as they please without retribution or harm to their reputation.
A young girl enjoying her youth becomes a wild party animal; a girl who’s intimate or vulnerable moments are violated becomes an irresponsible role model misleading a generation of kids. We see countless examples of this materialize particularly in adolescent ladies in the public eye, no matter how many so-called “rebrands” they attempt, they never quite get the chance to just be a person having a human experience. They are never allowed to truly transcend from this toxic culture of stepping and speaking over women and constricting their narratives to suit its own agenda.
Turning Her Disability Into Her Superpower
Furthermore, certain identities become considerably more marginalized on the basis of factors like race or ability. For Hilton, it is fairly easy to assume the daughter of a multi-billion dollar international empire might not have so much obviously stacked against her, but, as she divulges in her memoir, Hilton has ADHD which goes undiagnosed for many young girls and misrepresented as simply bad behavior. Hilton has been fortunate enough to transmute what was formerly referred to as a disability into what she affirms as her “superpower”.
Amidst understanding her different ability, Hilton underwent horrifying abuse at the hands of institutions that claim to be reformative outlets for “troubled youth”. Not only can that breed of trauma seem almost impossible to face inwardly, the pre-#METOO culture of shame and scare tactics to silence the stories of survivors was less than encouraging for Hilton to expose the truth about what she endured.
This is just another example of the various ways in which women do not always get to own what they have been through, let alone express how they overcame it which could be transformative for the journeys of fellow survivors.
For many women the page is written for them before they even have a chance to consent or contribute to it. Hilton is ripping that page to shreds and taking ownership of her own story. She is putting shame culture and fear of judgment to bed while being the progenitor of her narrative and her legacy, in a way she was never able to before due to unimaginable trauma and the bloodsport that is the media cycle.
Now that mainstream media has made a turn for the better, advocates like Hilton aim to fill in the gap for women who are deserving of space to represent themselves in a light of their choosing which will ultimately make more room to uplift identities that were historically downtrodden.
Moreover, allowing for womens’ voices to be heard also aids in disintegrating stereotypes and discrimination on the basis of gender. Often, women are described as “too emotional” which justifies the trivialization and dismissal of their opinions and contributions.
However, when women are given the same opportunities to raise their voices, they can turn these outdated and unfounded stereotypes on their heads and demonstrate that they are as equally capable as men are to contribute to society, like Hilton is doing.
Demanding space for women to express their own narratives and identities goes beyond empowering women; it’s about creating a better, more well rounded society for everyone. It’s about curating a society that is inclusive, diverse, and equitable. It’s about recognizing that everyone, regardless of gender, has something meaningful to contribute to the overall greater good. Women shouldn’t have to simply play the part they are casted as in society. There is more that women everywhere can give to creating a world we are privileged to live in if they are given the chance.
Hilton reflects on playing the character she built her brand on. Now she is ready to establish who really she is for herself, be her own person, and stand in her own light. This memoir is her way of lifting the veil and looking behind the curtain of the famed pop culture figurehead and telling her story in her own unique and thought-provoking way. #THISISWHOIAM is Hilton’s invitation for others to do the same.
The “I AM” Movement is Hilton’s’ initiative to give women a chance to affirm their own identity on a large scale. The purpose of this movement is to add to the barrier-breaking work and tireless effort to liberate women, empower them to shine a light on their stories, and declare for themselves who they are to this world.
One of the quintessential pillars of women empowerment revolves around the fight to amplify the voices of women and giving them the space and autonomy to express themselves freely without a barrage of pointed attempts to drown them out. While the painstaking struggle for women’s rights and equality has been ongoing for centuries, we have come a long way — but we still have a long way to go. There is a great deal of power to be gained from being able to establish your own identity and to have that identity represented properly and with the right amount of care.
Especially after witnessing recent culture shifts with movements like #METOO, women are now more able to open up about the darkest side of the entertainment industry and corporate giants that disproportionately victimizes women and young ladies around the world in ways they have never been able to before. It is extremely crucial to continually make room and stages for women to get the opportunity to express how they have been harmed and foster community for healing.
Even if the “I AM” Movement is simply a drop in the bucket compared to the oceanwide scale of progress that has yet to be made, we must take every opportunity to magnify young girls and women to raise their voices in stride.
How to Get Involved
Paris Hilton is encouraging others to use their voice and share all the parts of who they are, using the hashtag #THISISWHOIAM. She partnered with TSX Entertainment to launch the community-inspired “I AM” movement, and shared her story on the largest billboard in Times Square. Now, she wants you to have the same opportunity on March 22!
To do this, simply upload a 15-second video to the TSX App sharing your own message, story, or truth. It should be square, and you need to use the caption “I am” with the hashtag #THISISWHOIAM for a shot at being featured on the massive billboard.
Click here to see how you can get involved in the “I AM” Movement and shine your light!